In honor of National Women’s History Month, we’ve teamed with Chrissy Powers to showcase seven female creative entrepreneurs who are inspiring us with their incredible work, but also in the way they support other women! Each of these ladies were photographed wearing pieces by Dôen—another strong, female-led brand. Stay tuned as we highlight these women all week.
Gabi Bridges, the designer behind Furrow Floral Co., has a sweet soul that seems to seep right through into her floral arrangements like an unexpected gift. In fact, “gift” and “grace” are words that often come to mind when I think of Gabi because she gives both frequently—along with a heap of affirmation—to anyone with whom she comes in contact.
When photographing Gabi alongside the Bloom Babes (a pair of women you’ll meet in our next ‘Women Supporting Women’ interview) she was very close to giving birth and, quite frankly, feeling uncomfortable. Yet, alongside fellow female creatives, Gabi soaked up the carefree vibe and lost all insecurities. One look at the shots below, and you’ll see just how much the trio cares for one another.
Ultimately, this third interview and photo collection in our series is visual proof of what happens when women come together to pursue their dreams with a united front.
How did you get into doing what you do? What was your mindset when you started your business?
Growing up, my mother was always coordinating weddings for family and friends. From the food to the flowers, she always made weddings so special, and I knew that I, too, would want to make people feel that way in what I did for a living. My mindset going into becoming a florist was that I wanted to make a couple’s wedding day beautiful with flowers, but more importantly, let them know how valued and special each couple would be to me.
What were some key moments in your career that you felt vulnerable or doubted yourself, and how did you grow from it?
The first wedding I ever did was the scariest moment of my life. Knowing someone was paying me to create florals for their special day was so nerve-racking. Handing off the bridal bouquet, I was shaking like a leaf. I will never forget the look on the bride’s face as she started to cry out of pure joy. To this day, I still get nervous handing off the bridal bouquet, but the more weddings I do, the more confident I become in my work and ability to see a bride’s vision through.
Why are you a supporter of women in the business? Why is that so important?
The reason I am a supporter of women in business is because I had a nasty experience when I first became a florist, and I knew I would never want to make someone feel that way. It is so important to support like-minded people and cheer one another on because the more art being created, the more smiles there are on peoples’ faces.
What are some things we can do to help support other women in the creative industry more?
I think the best thing to do is cheer others on. Really encourage them. Give honest feedback when asked and give knowledge freely without holding back. I’m totally loving this blow-up of workshops in the industry—it’s beautiful to see women teaching other women their tips and tricks in a loving and welcoming way!
How do you overcome the sense of competition within your field, especially on a local level?
I try to remain true to my own style. I’ve always found peace that if a bride decides to go with another florist, it’s because that florist’s style is more in line with what they’re looking for. There are a ton of florists in the area, but I don’t see them as competition—I see them as friends! I’ve shared space with local florists and worked on weddings with others just for the fun of it!
When you feel like someone may be threatened by your success, how do you think it can best be handled?
If someone was threatened by my success, I would choose to not let it be on my radar. I choose to keep my head up and continue my work the way I started—with kindness and integrity.
How do you stay positive when you might not get the gig, job or opportunity you were hoping for?
Sometimes it’s a bummer when I’m excited for an opportunity and it ends up falling through. However, knowing how vast the wedding world is, something great always ends up coming my way. I’ve had the opportunity to do some amazing events, and I just think back on those and how thankful I am to be part of them.
Gabi’s thoughts on female support:
As a female business owner, I have had many moments of victories and failures. I cannot explain how valuable both have been for me and my business. Being a confident female was something I was raised to be by my parents. They instilled in me from a young age to be a go-getter, and to pursue my dreams full force. They allowed me to try out many different outlets, and when I decided to become a florist, they were there cheering me on as they always have.
Starting my floral business left me feeling more vulnerable than I’ve ever been before. What would my friends think? How would I be welcomed into the community of wedding vendors? Would I be talented enough? Would anyone ever hire me? All of these thoughts crossed my mind many times and held me back for a few months, until I remembered how I was raised. I knew I had to go full force and be brave, regardless of the outcome.
When starting my business, I had to learn quickly that being bold and tough were part of the gig. Not only did I need to be sweet to clients and vendors, but I also had to learn when to say ‘no,’ and how to value my time and efforts. In the wedding industry, there is a fine line between helping others and being taken advantage of. Knowing how to set boundaries was something I had to learn through experience.
Finding support from local florists has been vital to my success—from borrowing vessels in a pinch, to trading skills and tips. Starting my business, I was a bit insecure of how the local floral community would respond. Right off the bat I experienced both eye-rolls and support. The gals that supported me and showed me grace gave me the confidence I needed to continue my dream of being a wedding florist. In the long run, I’m now able to lend that same grace and knowledge to other up-and-coming creatives.